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Investors cool on stocks

| Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Investors have been plowing billions of dollars into stocks this year, but new data show the torrent of money has been slowing this month — particularly into U.S. equities.

Starting in January, investors began pouring into stocks after President Obama and Congress defused much of the “fiscal cliff.” The Federal Reserve, meanwhile, has nudged investors into riskier assets like stocks by lowering interest rates and making safer investments less attractive.

In the week ending Jan. 16, investors shoved $9.2 billion into equity mutual funds, according to data from the Investment Company Institute.

But the inflows have been tapering off, and in the week ending Feb. 13, investors put $5.7 billion into stock funds.

The slowdown into domestic stocks has been more pronounced. In the week ending Jan. 16, investors put $4.9 billion in U.S. equity funds. By the week ending Feb. 13, the inflow had slowed to $509 million, according to ICI data.

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